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New musicals at the Edinburgh Fringe: what to watch

See which shows will be trying to make a splash in Edinburgh this summer

A variety of shows featuring in the list of top musicals to see
A variety of shows featuring in the list of top musicals to see

The Edinburgh Fringe can be a wonderful hotbed for new musicals – shows like Six, Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder, Jerry Springer the Opera and more all first cut their teeth at the Edinburgh Fringe before going on to global success. So – here’s 20 or so further shows who could do just as well come the end of the month. For the sake of our sanity, we’re not including production that have had previous runs – though would recommend musicals like WhatsOnStage Award nominee Diva! Live From Hell with the lovely Luke Bayer.

 

A Jaffa Cake Musical

A Jaffa Cake Musical, artwork supplied by GiggleMug
A Jaffa Cake Musical, artwork supplied by GiggleMug

When it comes to new ideas for musicals, this one really takes the biscuit. Or does it? Guess you’ll have to find out in this latest from the WhatsOnStage Award-nominated team at Gigglemug. Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July to 26 August, 15:10

 

Come Dine With Me / Silence!

Artwork for Come Dine With Me, supplied by the production
Artwork for Come Dine With Me, supplied by the production

Producer Paul Taylor-Mills has a wad of new musicals at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and two of them are based on some of the greatest cultural concoctions in the last century – one of them is iconic film Silence of the Lambs! (parodied here) and the other is the reality TV series Come Dine With Me – both having left profound and long-lasting impacts, in their own very different ways. Underbelly Bristo Square, 31 July to 25 August, 14:20 and 23:15

 

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Artwork for Drop Dead Gorgeous, supplied by the production
Artwork for Drop Dead Gorgeous, supplied by the production

Twenty-five years after the cult classic film was released (starring Kirsten Dunst), Drop Dead Gorgeous will land on the stage in a series of work-in-progress concerts. Offering a chance for Fringe-goers to get a taste of what might become a major blockbuster production, this is one for the early adopters! Musician and performer Riki Lindhome, who starred in Wednesday on Netflix, is on writing duties. Pleasance Dome, 2 to 23 August, 23:00

 

Edge of Time 

Edge of Time
Artwork for Edge of Time, supplied by the production

Daisy Boulton’s solo musical is a time-hopping and touching show, inspired by the book A Woman on the Edge of Time by Jeremy Gavron. We’re intrigued. Underbelly Cowgate, 1 to 23 August, 12:50

 

The Emu War: A New Musical 

The Emu War A Musical, © Ed Felton
The Emu War A Musical credit Ed Felton

Australia’s Great Emu War of 1932 is probably not something you know much about, but we’re already certain it’s a great subject for a musical. As shows like Operation Mincemeat have proven, surreal chapters in history are prime fodder for whimsical shows! Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July to 25 August, 12:00

 

F*GHAG 

Dylan Mulvaney, photo supplied by the production
Dylan Mulvaney, photo supplied by the production

Dylan Mulvaney is returning to her roots with a musical bonanza exploring her life – from growing up Catholic to experiences transitioning. It is to be directed by Tim Jackson, who recently wowed with his five-star transfer of Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York) and will soon bring Something Rotten! to Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Assembly George Square Studios, 31 July to 25 August, 21:40

 

House of Cleopatra

Artwork for House of Cleopatra
Artwork for House of Cleopatra

Co-produced by Alchemation and Nathaniel Hill, two of the biggest Broadway producers going, House of Cleopatra is another show that seems to be using the Fringe as a springboard towards an exciting future. A pop score by Laura Kleinbaum and Jeff Daye brings the story of the Egyptian icon to life – which, from what we’ve heard, will have an excellent cast. Assembly Checkpoint, 31 July to 25 August, 23:15 

 

I Wish You Well

Diana Vickers, headshot supplied by the production
Diana Vickers, headshot supplied by the production

There are two shows about the Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash skating to the Fringe. One of them, we’re repeatedly told, is a play with songs, the second is a full-blown musical led by Diana Vickers and featuring help by none other than Arlene Phillips. Underbelly George Square, 31 July to 26 August, 17:45 

 

Jake Roche: Neporrhoids!

Jake Roche Neporrhoids, photo by hnry
Jake Roche: Neporrhoids, © hnry

From Universal Studios to universal credit is the tagline for Jake Roche’s show, which charts his life as an actor and member of the band Rixton, who had a number one hit with “Me and My Broken Heart”, which has a three quarters of a billion plays on Spotify. He now reflects on his life, and status as a nepo child, in this new show. Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July to 25 August, 15:35

 

Kafka’s Metamorphosis! The Musical! With Puppets!

Kafka’s Metamorphosis The Musical! With Puppets! Artwork, supplied by the production
Kafka’s Metamorphosis The Musical! With Puppets! Artwork, supplied by the production

Honestly, this is one of those ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ kind of musicals. What better way to blend a satire of socio-bureaucratic powers with the musical form than to add some Avenue Q-esque puppetry. Well done to all for their visionary enterprise. Pleasance Dome, 31 July to 26 August, 13:30 

 

Mary Queen of Rock 

Mary Queen of Rock, photo by the production
Mary Queen of Rock, photo by the production

Musicals about Queens in the 16th century have a strong track record at the Edinburgh Fringe, so we’re hopeful about this new offering, already building up some hype as one of the shows to watch at this year’s Fringe. Assembly Rooms, 1 to 25 August, 21:20

 

 

Meet Me in Buenos Aires  

Meet Me in Buenos Aires artwork, supplied by the production
Meet Me in Buenos Aires artwork, supplied by the production

Florencia Iriondo has received a glorious review from our sibling site in New York, and now she’s jetting over to UK shores for an exploration of love’s various facets and wonders across the centuries. 31 July to 11 August, Underbelly Bristo Square, 19:15

 

Non-Player Character

non player4
Non-Player Character: Live Virtual Reality Musical artwork

A live virtual reality musical! That blends live entertainment and gaming? The sort of thing you’d only ever find at the Edinburgh Fringe and it sounds riveting. Yotel Edinburgh / Zoo Venues, 2 to 25 August, 21:00 

 

Or What’s Left of Us

Or What's Left Of Us, © Claire Nolan
Or What’s Left Of Us, © Claire Nolan

Sh!t Theatre are bordering on Fringe legend status, but they’re doing something different this year – diving into a world of joy and sorrow with an hour of folk songs – following by a sing-along in the venue bar. Is this their Folklore era? Summerhall, 1 to 25 August, from 16:45 (sing-along from 17:45)

 

Our Little Secret

Artwork for Our Little Secret
Artwork for Our Little Secret

No, not the upcoming Netflix film with Lindsay Lohan, but the “23andMe musical” is about a very real story of a man who, following a DNA test, discovers that his biological parents aren’t quite who he thought they were. Fruitful material for a stage show! Guilded Balloon Patter House, 31 July to 26 August, 17:30

 

Pop Off, Michelangelo

Pop Off, Michelangelo artwork
Pop Off, Michelangelo artwork

Imagine an Amadeus for the art world – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are besties who have to “canvas” support for an appointment at the Vatican, attempting to obtain divine forgiveness for their homosexuality in the process. Could be a stroke of genius? Guilded Balloon Patter House, 31 July to 26 August, 18:30 

 

Tit Swingers

Tit Swingers, design by Abey Bradbury, photography by Conor Dye
Tit Swingers, design by Abey Bradbury, photography by Conor Dye

Ahoy! Who’s after a new queer punk gig musical (with added pirates)? The show had an early voyage at MTFestUK and is now setting sail for a full month of performances at the Fringe, which could be a hoot. Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July to 26 August, 13:40 

 

Tones

Tones A Hip Hop Opera, photo supplied by the production
Tones A Hip Hop Opera, photo supplied by the production

Roundabout has been an excllent venue for musicals and gig theatre in the past – including shows like All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, The Canary and The Crow, Black Love and oodles more. Hip-hop, grime and drill are woven together for a journey through contemporary Black-British culture and its various nuances. Roundabout at Summerhall, 1 to 26 August, 18:50 

 

Who Do Ya Love? 

The cast of Who Do Ya Love?, © Neil Shearer
The cast of Who Do Ya Love?, © Neil Shearer

Another set of producing heavyweights come in the form of ATG Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions and LPO with Dudley Hinton, who unite to bring the official KC and the Sunshine Band musical to the stage! That’s the way (we like it)! Assembly George Square Studios, 31 July to 25 August, 16:50 

 

Willy’s Candy Spectacular

Artwork for Willy’s Candy Spectacular: A Musical Parody
Artwork for Willy’s Candy Spectacular: A Musical Parody

Remember that viral Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow that gained infamy for all the wrong reasons? Turns out it continues to be a source of amusement and the inspiration for this new musical, with a raft of top-notch writers penning tunes for its work-in-progress staged reading run. Pleasance Dome, 9 to 26 August, 15:00 

 

You & It 

You & It, Copyright: TaeYang Park 1994
You & It, Copyright: TaeYang Park 1994

Grief, loss, love and robots combine in this Black Mirror-esque musical about a grieving husband who brings a robot version of his deceased wife into his home in order to ease the pain. The twist? She doesn’t know that she’s a robot. Yikes. Assembly Checkpoint, 1 to 25 August, 15:55

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